We are committed to engaging communities and harnessing the power of the justice system to address local problems and improve public safety.
The Center for Court created the first community court in 1993. Located a short walk from New York City’s Times Square, the Midtown Community Court works with people in the neighborhood to tailor creative responses to local concerns. Since then, we have worked to bring the idea of community justice to other New York City neighborhoods (Red Hook, Harlem, Brownsville, and others), and to jurisdictions around the world that are interested in reinvigorating public trust in justice, reducing the use of incarceration and forging new responses to minor offending. We have also helped launch the Community Court Grant Program, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance.
We have also worked to spread the idea of community justice beyond courts. For example, we have worked with prosecutors to encourage them to not only prosecute cases, but to solve public safety problems, prevent crime, and improve public trust in justice. Rather than simply tallying cases won and sentences imposed, prosecutors should measure the effect of their work on quality of life, community attitudes, and crime. To support such efforts, we work with local prosecutors and national experts such as the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Fair and Just Prosecution.
2016 Community Court Grant Program
The 2016 Community Court Grant Program is a joint initiative of the Center for Court Innovation and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Bronx Community Solutions
Bronx Community Solutions applies a problem-solving approach to non-violent cases in the Bronx, providing judges with alternatives to jail and fines.
Brownsville Community Justice Center
The Brownsville Community Justice Center works to reduce crime and incarceration, and strengthen community trust in justice in central Brooklyn.
Harlem Community Justice Center
The Harlem Community Justice Center works to increase housing stability, engage young people in their community, and help individuals returning from prison transition home.
International Community Justice Conferences
The 2018 Community Courts and Public Safety conference, this year's convening of our biennial community justice summits, takes place in May in Birmingham, Alabama.
Midtown Community Court
The Midtown Community Court is one of the country's first problem-solving courts. It provides alternatives to fines and jail as a response to low-level crime.
Newark Community Solutions
Newark Community Solutions applies a problem-solving approach to low-level cases in Newark, New Jersey’s municipal courthouse.
Red Hook Community Justice Center
The nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court, the Red Hook Community Justice Center seeks to solve neighborhood problems in southwest Brooklyn.
With help from a grant program we operate, since 2016, the community court in Eugene, Oregon, has met every week in the downtown library. It's part of an effort getting a lot of attention on the West Coast right now to bring problem-solving justice to more accessible, friendlier settings.
The Red Hook Community Justice Center has become an international model of justice reform by implementing innovative strategies that have reduced the use of jail, lowered recidivism and strengthened public confidence in justice.